Title: Jack Gibson explains the importance of having a radio style, how he took the trade name "Jockey Jack," and the start of personality radio
Creator: Smithsonian Productions
Date Created: 1991-04-09
Physical Dimensions: WAV
Transcript: Radio had to be a style. You had to have what we call a “hook,” and my “hook” became when I changed my name - when the word came out that we were known as “disc jockeys.” And since my name was Jack, I said “Disc Jockey Jack.” Hmmm. Let’s take the “Disc” off and just call me “Jockey Jack.” And that’s how I got my trade name of “Jockey Jack.”
And then I felt - one time we were doing a show or something and somebody was crying in the record - and myself, I just flipped a microphone on and wanted to know why she was crying. And she answered in singing, you know. Then I would tell her, “Well I know why you crying. ‘Cause you haven’t been over to my house for a couple of weeks” - or somethin’ like that. And boy, the audience fell out with that. People would go to the store and try to buy the record and they couldn’t find my voice in the record, and they’d want to turn the record back. But that began what we called “personality radio.”
We were very involved in the records. We talked with the records. We sang with the records. We ran trains through the records. We had folks laughing and using all kind of sound effects and everything we could.
But, it made entertainment because each disc jockey that was on the air at that particular time had his own style. So if you listened to four disc jockeys a day, you would hear four different styles. Even if there was the same record, you would hear him introduced four different ways. Different disc jockeys would introduce the record four different ways.
Special collection number: SC 39
Special collection name: Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was